Worship Notes and Weekly Intercessions for Palm Sunday

Worship for Palm Sunday

 

On Sunday we mark Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem where excited crowds, seeing ancient prophecy’s fulfilment, acclaimed him as king.  The crowds’ reaction was too much for the authorities who realised they had to undermine and neutralise Jesus in case he swept them away and provoked the might of Rome. We know, of course, those same crowds soon bayed for his blood; political leaders have always known how fickle public opinion is and how quickly it can change – parties celebrating re-election soon give way to condemnation of drunken parties during Lockdown.  Public opinion is a funny old thing.

I have prepared this week’s Worship Notes and suggest marking both triumph and tragedy in the service – reading both of the entry into Jerusalem, distributing Palms, and singing our hosannas with, a little later on listening to the long Passion reading.  I suggest that this is read by three or more people and link to some online sites where the reading is set in this way.  It is a very powerful way of hearing the drama of the text.

The sermon is rather different and is a monologue addressed to Jesus asking what type of King he is.  All the prayers continue this theme. Hymn suggestions include the 8th Century, All Glory Laud and Honour, Graham Kendrick’s Come and See, Brian Wren’s Here Hangs a Man Discarded, and Martin Leckebusch’s Come Wounded Healer Your Sufferings Reveal and many more.  You can find the Worship Notes here.

By a quirk of rota planning I undertook to write the Weekly Intercessions and have fleshed out the ones already provided in the Worship Notes to allow for some more recent news items to feature.  They can be used for small groups, personal prayer time or for Sunday Worship and follow, below.

With every good wish

Andy

The Rev’d Andy Braunston
Minister for Digital Worship
 

Intercessions for Palm Sunday

We bring our prayers to You, our crucified God,
knowing that You hear us as we pray for our world.
 
Eternal One,
before the ages You loved our world and all that is in it,
you formed us from stardust,
and set us in this place,
giving us all that we need to sustain life and flourish.

Teach us, O Most High,
to live in harmony with creation,
to cherish what You have given us,
and to heed the warnings
of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
to use the time we have,
that we may understand and reverse climate change where we can,
and learn to live with a new climate where we can’t.

pause

In Your mercy, God, hear our prayer.
 
Crucified One,
we bring before You all those who are tortured today,
and those who torture;
we pray for those who are condemned to death this day,
and those who condemn them;
we bring before You all who steal this day,
and those who limit human flourishing.

We pray for LGBT people in Uganda facing a new law 
introducing the death penalty for simply expressing love.
We ask the courts have the courage to strike it down.

Give us grace, Lord Jesus, to understand Your forsaken victory,
that we may challenge the powers that seek to rule our world,
and remind them, and ourselves, that they stand defeated.

pause

In your mercy, God, hear our prayer.
 
Powerful One,
we bring before You the crowds and peoples of our age,
swayed by social media, charismatic leaders, and corrupt politicians,
as easily as the crowds in Jerusalem were so long ago.

Give wisdom, we ask, to those who seek to lead us.
Give honesty, we beg, to those elected to serve.
Give strength, we plead,
to those now having to change the culture in the police;
may the leadership of the Metropolitan Police Service, in particular,
understand the systems and cultures which institutionalise oppression,
and may they root out the corrupt, the violent,
the prejudiced and those men who hate women,
so that we can, again, have trust in our institutions.

Help us to stand firm when we waver,
help us to maintain truth when all around are lies,
help us to love when the voices bay for hatred.

pause

In your mercy, God, hear our prayer.
 
O Most High,
in silence we bring to You places of pain and people in need….

longer pause

Accept our prayers, Eternal One,
for the sake of Your son, our saviour, Jesus Christ,
who taught us to pray saying: 
Our Father…
 
 

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